New Orleans Pelicans – 124
Cleveland Cavaliers – 122
The Cavaliers just got whooped 124-122 by a New Orleans Pelicans team that didn’t have Anthony Davis.
Terrence Jones whooped them. Up and down the court for 36 points. Terrence Jones. Jrue Holiday whooped them. Holiday hadn’t scored 22 points since December 23rd. He scored that in the first half Monday. DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS WHOOPED EM. Be honest, did you know he was even on their team? Well you do now. Because he just whooped them.
Kyrie Irving had 49 points. LeBron James had a triple-double. They made it close at the end. And then they still got whooped by the damn Pelicans without Anthony Davis. I don’t even understand how all of those statements can be true about one game.
The Cavs have lost five of their last seven and are playing ugly, uninspired basketball. I think the only answer is a good old-fashioned roast:
The Cavaliers played defense with the urgency of your Dad standing outside The Limited while your Mom shops for a nice blouse for your cousin’s wedding.
Kyrie Irving is the NBA version of the “take a penny, leave a penny” cup, but with lay-ups.
Richard Jefferson is playing like a not-even-that-realistic-looking wax statue of Richard Jefferson.
Watching Kevin Love makes me know how he felt after that sea bass, because he’s getting blown out on both ends.
Channing Frye is seven foot small.
LeBron James throws so many hissy fits at his teammates that he looks like the NBA version of Veruca Salt.
When someone puts a move on Kyle Korver he looks like Meek Mill on a set of snowy steps.
Ranked by things that make Cleveland’s hold their breath when they hit the ground it goes: 1. LeBron James 2. an Iman Shumpert dribble.
That’s all they get. The Cavs have been playing so poorly lately they don’t even deserve these jokes. Let’s look behind the box score at what is going on:
14 – Threes attempted by Kyrie Irving. He’s an elite shooter and it would be great to see him increase the number of threes he takes as a percentage of his overall shots. He was incredible tonight, scoring 49 on 28 shots with zero turnovers.
-4 – The net rating (per 100 possessions) of the starting lineup with Iman Shumpert. That number is +30 with DeAndre Liggins and +9 with J.R. Smith. And that doesn’t count tonight. I’ve written about this multiple times, but this lineup isn’t working. Even as it seems Shumpert is playing better, the overall results are not good. I’m not saying it is Shumpert’s fault, but something is going on and it might be time to go back to Liggins or try Kyle Korver.
-2.7 – The Cavs’ net rating (per 100 possessions) when LeBron plays without Kyrie or Love. LeBron was +8.9 without the other two of the Big 3 last year. LeBron not being able to support the bench units is a major reason the Cavs have been unable to sustain leads. I understand LeBron is saving his energy, but having to play 40+ minutes in close games because the bench can’t sustain a lead isn’t helping lessen his load.
137 – Minutes Kevin Love played in a four games in six night stretch immediately following reports he lost ten pounds due to food poisoning. He has since complained of a sore back. Prior to the illness he was shooting 41 percent from three. That number is down to 27 percent since. Here’s hoping that playing such a heavy load immediately after losing so much weight didn’t cause further injury.
Here’s some highlights from around the league:
Old friend Dion Waiters hit the game winner over Golden State
Joakim Noah provided the free-throw representation of the Cavaliers’ effort tonight
The Knicks are fine. This is fine. pic.twitter.com/V62Jo2VSo2
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 24, 2017
Giannis Antetokounmpo went UP
Doesn't matter how high you throw it, Greek Freak will get to it pic.twitter.com/YsgDpgDVaM
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 24, 2017
The Cavs host Sacramento at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night. Let’s hope they can turn things around then.